HARTFORD, Conn. and SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (January 5, 2012) – JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) today launched nonstop service between Hartford-Springfield’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). Flights are on sale today through January 13, 2012 at www.jetblue.com/new as low as $139 (a) each way for travel on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between January 19 and February 15, 2012.

“We are proud to support the strong business and family ties between Hartford and San Juan with this new nonstop service,” said John Checketts, director of route planning for JetBlue Airways. “JetBlue thinks the flight should be an enjoyable part of the journey, from the most legroom in coach to unlimited name brand snacks, and your own personal entertainment choices. We would like to thank the communities in Connecticut and Puerto Rico for their strong support of JetBlue.”

“The mutual commitment between JetBlue and Bradley continues to grow. New travel options opening new destinations draw more customers, which benefits everyone,” said Mary Ellen Jones, Chair of the Connecticut Airport Authority. “With Connecticut’s special ties to Puerto Rico, I am confident that this non-stop service to San Juan will add another chapter to JetBlue’s success story in our state.”

“Puerto Rico had a 4.1 percent increase in tourists during the fiscal year 2010-2011, as measured by hotel registrations. For the 2011-2012 season, we expect better results with more visitors heading this way to discover why Puerto Rico does it better. JetBlue’s new non-stop service between Hartford-Springfield’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) now provides additional flight options to travelers from one of our top markets in the East Coast to our Island. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company welcomes this new service and thanks the airline for the additional seats,” said the Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Mario González Lafuente.

 

Groton New London Airport gains safety upgradeFederal Aviation Administration Regional Administrator Amy Lind Corbett and Connecticut Department of Transportation Commissioner James P. Redeker visited in December and unveiled the newly installed emergency arresting system at Groton-New London Airport designed to stop planes that overshoot the runway. It is the first such system installed in Connecticut.

“With this system, we have taken another major step toward making this airport safer for everyone,” said DOT Commissioner Redeker. “This system has a 100 percent success record everywhere it has been installed and it is great news that we have been able to get it here in Groton.”

“With the installation of this system at Groton-New London, pilots and passengers will begin reaping the safety benefits of this technology immediately,” said Corbett, regional administrator for FAA’s New England Region.

The “Engineered Materials Arresting System,” or EMAS, is a bed of customized cellular cement material, according to Zodiac Aerospace’s Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation, the manufacturer. It is designed to crush under the weight of an aircraft, thus providing safe, predictable, controlled stop.

Mary Ellen Jones, chair of the new Connecticut Airport Authority, said the system is “consistent with the objectives of the Authority in keeping Connecticut at the forefront of technology and safety.”

The $9 million Groton-New London system, at both ends of the 5,000-foot main runway, is one of some 67 EMAS systems that have been installed at airports around the world. Other airports in the region, including JFK, LaGuardia, Newark and Boston Logan, have EMAS systems.

“The controlled deceleration achieved with EMAS reduces the risk of personal injury and damage to the aircraft. Yet, the bed remains accessible by rescue and recovery vehicles, so runway downtime is minimized,” according to a statement by Engineered Arresting Systems Corporation. “Winter weather conditions do not affect the system’s performance and snow can be easily removed.”

Funding for the EMAS project came almost entirely through the Federal Aviation Administration. The state contributed $790,000 for the project.

The EMAS system successfully stopped a plane on November 3, 2011, at Key West International Airport in Florida, with minimal damage. Four days earlier, another plane overshot the other end of the same runway, which did not have an EMAS system; although it stopped safely at the end of the airfield, the second plane was heavily damaged.